STANDARD Lesotho Bank (SLB) yesterday awarded eight businesses a share of M600 000 for winning its Covid-19 Entrepreneurship Support Competition.
The winners, who are in different sectors such as agribusiness, retail and service categories shared M600 000 in capital grants intended to help them mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The winners are Denim Printing (M75 000); Mofoka Agri-Projects (M45 000); Falimehang General Dealer (M100 000); Bataung General Dealer (M50 000); Sibusiso Poultry Farm PTY LTD (M90 650); Hair Lounge and Beauty Clinic (M90 921); Sekamane Farming (M60 000) and Chembi PTY LTD (M50 000).
SLB acting head of marketing and communications Manyathela Kheleli said the competition was launched to lend a hand to businesses that are fully Basotho owned that have been negatively impacted negatively by Covid-19 to ensure they keep their businesses opened.
The primary intention of the competition is to provide financial support to enable businesses to re-stock and revive business activities, and also position them for success as economic activities gradually go back to normal.
“Eight businesses have won the Standard Lesotho Bank Covid 19 Entrepreneur Support Competition launched on 17 September 2020,” Mr Kheleli said.
He said the competition forms part of SLB’s initiatives meant to its new brand positioning: IT CAN BE, to life. The positioning is premised on how the bank continues to find new ways of making Basotho dreams come true. The competition also doubles as a commemorative event to mark the 25th anniversary of SLB.
The competition was open to businesses that are fully owned by Basotho nationals who are either sole proprietors, companies, partnerships or cooperatives that have been in operation for a minimum of three years and employing over three employees. One hundred and eighty-two entries were received throughout the country in the categories of retail, manufacturing, agriculture, services, food supply and infrastructure.
“We are extremely pleased that the competition ran smoothly and we were able to demonstrate our resolve to revive hope in our people to say, yes, indeed ‘IT CAN BE’ despite the challenges we have faced as a nation. This is our contribution to reviving our small and medium enterprises, who remain our only hope for economic growth.
“On behalf of the bank, we also extend our appreciation to all the businesses who took part in the competition. Like in any competition, not all could be winners, but we thank you for your efforts,” Mr Kheleli said.
This year alone, the SLB has spent over M2.4 million in Covid-19 response initiatives in entrepreneurship, the health sector and food security.